Conduct, integrity and accountability

We play an integral role in strengthening integrity and accountability across government through our broad oversight and reporting functions. This role is derived from a complex legislative framework spanning four separate pieces of legislation—the PSM Act, the CCM Act, the PID Act, and more recently, the IL Act. 

These separate pieces of legislation work together to ensure conduct and integrity issues in public authorities are well monitored and managed. 

Special inquiries

The Commissioner’s oversight and reporting role includes the power to undertake special inquiries into any matter related to the public sector.

At the direction of the Premier, we are supporting the Government to undertake its ‘Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects’ to examine the governance arrangements and associated decision-making processes related to specific projects commenced under the previous Government. The final report is due to be provided to the Commissioner on or before 15 November 2017. 

Reviews

Reviews are conducted in relation to the functions, management or operations of public sector authorities and are more likely to be used where matters concern structures, systems and processes. In undertaking a review under Section 24B of the PSM Act, the reviewer can exercise specific powers including entering the premises of a public sector authority and inspecting relevant documents.

In 2016/17, at the request of the former Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Commissioner undertook a review of the handling of a safety audit commissioned by the Department of Sport and Recreation. A copy of the review report was provided to the former minister.

During the year, we also commenced a review into the Forensic Biology department of PathWest following a request from the Minister for Health. The review is examining a random sample of forensic results between 2002 and 2017, to ensure compliance with protocols and procedures. 

Additional analyses

We conduct additional analyses to advise our stakeholders on changes and improvements to enhance the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the sector. Often these analyses are undertaken using the Commissioner’s general functions outlined in Section 21 of the PSM Act.

In 2016/17, we undertook five additional analyses:

  • A governance enhancement initiative into the Rottnest Island Authority, from which 50 recommendations for improvement were provided to, and approved by the Board.
  • An examination of the relationships between public sector agencies and ministerial offices. The full report is available on the Commission’s website.
  • Three examinations to monitor compliance with the Public Sector principles outlined in the PSM Act.

Investigations 

The Commissioner’s powers under the CCM Act and the PSM Act are used to investigate the activities of individual public officers as well as public sector authorities. These are generally initiated in relation to specific actions, activities or questions of conduct. Since 1 July 2016, the Commission has commenced 11 investigations including:

  • two investigations under the CCM Act
  • four preliminary inquiries under the CCM Act
  • two investigations under the PSM Act
  • three investigations in accordance with our functions under the PID Act.

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Page last updated 14 September 2017